2013 and 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Review

I’m Alex dykes and today we’re taking a look at one of the last true American sports sedans this is the Chrysler 300 srt8 has a six point four liter v8 engine under the hood and sends power to the rear wheels all three hundreds were refreshed relatively

recently and as such we don’t get quite as bold of a front end as we had in the first generation Chrysler 300 although things are definitely very big and very American up front we have this really great large grill we have these aggressive looking headlamps now with integrated LED daytime running lamps and we still have that very upright very tall hood profile that we’ve come to expect

from the Chrysler 300 and that of course is because of what’s under the hood I’m sure that the primary reason for this blunt nose this tall hood and the high beltline in the Chrysler 300 is that it looks totally cool but the secondary reason is right here in our srt8 tester and that’s because this is a very tall 6.4 liter v8 engine this is a pushrod engine it’s not a dual overhead

cam or a single overhead cam engine and as such it doesn’t sound like one doesn’t have direct injection still just plain old multi-port fuel injection which means that this engine sounds like that classic American muscle car v8 engine and I’m really totally happy with that this engine produces 470 horsepower and a Stumpf pulling 470 pound-feet of torque it sends all that powe

r to the rear wheels through a Mercedes 5-speed automatic for some reason Chrysler has held off on the ZF 8-speed automatic that’s making its way through a wide variety of other products in the Chrysler lineup but we do expect one next year in this car if you had shopped the Chrysler 300 before the 2012 model year and were put off by the interior trappings the quality of the bits and that old infotainment system then you need to give the Chrysler 300 another look because this interior in our 300 tester is one of the best interiors that

I’ve been in this year and that includes things from BMW Mercedes Audi etc and that’s largely thanks to our $2,500 optional stitched dash in the 300 now this is an absolutely gorgeous full leather dashboard and that includes full leather doors and a full leather centre console as well absolutely unheard of in this price range except for the Chrysler 300 products this is a you know much better than things like the Lexus ES Lexus GS I would rank this interior higher than anything from Cadillac or Lincoln currently as well I know

the Cadillac XTS has a fairly nice interior so does the ATS but they really don’t have the level of polish that a stitched leather dashboard brings now even if you don’t offer the stitch leather dashboard we don’t get the same rubbery and hard plastics that the last generation 300 suffered from they’re definitely much nicer softer touch plastics the 300 srt8 gets Chrysler’s new SRT steering wheel with a somewhat flat bottom here and these great chunky sport grips down there and up here as well here we have our buttons to control the multi information display in between the speedometer and the tachometer our voice command button our phone button over here we get our cruise control buttons and our particular model does have the optional radar cruise control back here we have these great paddle shifters on the left and the right so you can see they’re only on the top portion of the steering wheel because if we go to the back of the steering wheel you can see where Chrysler places their audio control buttons

this particular side of the steering wheel is volume up and down and the other side has track up and down up front the seats are very similar to the regular Chrysler 300 except we have more aggressive bolstering on the seat bottom cushion and the seat back cushion thankfully Chrysler didn’t go out of control with the seat back cushion bolstering however like some model manufacturers do meaning that my average size six foot frame fits fairly nicely in this seat and with a lot of sports cars and a lot of sports sedans they go just a little bit too overboard for my tastes on the seat bolstering and it feels like you can’t really sit back in the seat properly because it’s pinching your shoulders that doesn’t happen in the Chrysler 300s or t8 down here we have the same power seat controls as a regular Chrysler 300 with a decent range of motion and of course a four-way lumbar support we also have power adjustable pedals and a power tilt telescoping steering column with a decent range of motion this front passenger seat which is kind of interesting has the same range of motion as the driver seat in the 300 which is a little bit unusual but it’s very much appreciated

I have a decent amount of both Headroom and legroom in the rear of the vehicle this front seats adjusted for me at 6 feet tall but if I move over to this middle seat you’ll see the one problem with these very bucket shaped outboard seats in the rear and that’s I don’t have a whole lot of headroom back here my head’s touching the ceiling in the middle seat if I lean very far back in the seat and if I sit in a more natural position you’d have to your head to one side and that’s because of this large panoramic roof in the Chrysler 300 if you frequently have a average or tall sized people this middle seat and you probably want to do without this panoramic sunroof our Chrysler 300 of course has the heated rear seats and these rear seats do fold to enlarge the cargo area in the trunk which is a nice feature with the vehicle that’s this large rear passengers also get a center armrest which is nicely upholstered decent change from the previous model with a nice little storage cubby there let’s take a look at the

trunk now back here you can see we have a fairly large trunk this is the largest roller bag you can care in a domestic flight you fit quite a number of those very easily in this trunk one thing you won’t find however is a spare tire in the 300 srt8 because under this hatch we only have a can of fix-a-flat and some extra cargo storage area the battery is also back here helping improve the 300s weight distribution and of course the step in height in this trunk is fairly low making it very easy to get in and out of the trunk now be pole street in the trunk isn’t quite as top-notch as the interior is but we do have a nice handle on the inside to help you close the trunk lid overall I’d give this truck an 8 out of 10 score in our exclusive trunk comfort index because it is fairly large it’s fairly easy to get in and out of but we lose a few points because these trunk hinges do impact head and foot room in the trunk of the 300s cargo area and there’s no handle on the outside helping you close the trunk lid meaning you’re gonna have to press down on that spoiler let’s take a look at the infotainment system now now all models of the 300 srt8 come with Chrysler’s UConnect 8.4 it’s this 8.4 inch touchscreen that you see here and it handles all of your interactions with your multimedia devices your navigation your phone etc as well as some SRT specific features Chrysler’s gone button minimalist with you connect down here you’ll find the only physical buttons and knobs in the system over here we have the power and volume knob over here we have tuned in an enter button here we have the fairly minimalist set of climate

control functions the rest of the climate control functions are all in the software system right here we have an SD card slot so you can put music on an SD card and play that with the system and down here we have our traditional CD player of course you connect software interface is very nicely done this screen is a fairly high resolution screen and all the graphics are very attractive in this particular unit down here on the bottom we have direct access to certain features of course we get radio player we get controls which is where you’d find your heated seat ventilated seat heated steering wheel etc we course get our climate control buttons duplicated we have the nav button phone and on our particular vehicle since we’re in an SRT 8 model we have an SRT button over there over here on the player tab we have our fairly typical iPod USB and multimedia interface we can change sources by this little button up here and change between our discogs iller ii input bluetooth streaming of course we have an iPod connected to the USB port if you had a different device there that label would be different and our SD card that we went over earlier now this car only has one USB port that’s just particular to our Chrysler 300 srt8 different models have a different number of USB ports system did work very well with our iPhone 5 and it was able to charge our iPad 3 which is fairly unusual in the automotive segment back on this particular interface you can see that we now have voice commands for our device or USB media device as well play artist toby keith playing the artist toby keith the system very rarely got anything wrong which is more than I can say for other voice command systems for music devices out there does work very well with a wide variety of media devices as I said we’re gonna skip

the nav system and go straight to the phone button so you can see you connect offers a stereotypical phone interface it has a full dial pad which is very handy and across the top you can see we have direct access buttons to particular contacts of course have complete access to our phone book which it downloads and syncs with your phone our usual redial and end buttons if your phone supports Bluetooth messaging we have of text message button over here that allows the system to both send and receive texts for you since wearing an srt8 model this button over here says SRT and more but that’s where you’ll find system settings as well as serious travel link serious travel link is your data service provides fuel prices weather movie listing sports and serious subscription information as well direct access button to call Sirius if you’d like my favorites allows you to store multiple different weather locations so you can see them all on one screen the SRT performance section is unique to the SRT models and varies a little bit from vehicle to vehicle but since we’re in a Chrysler 300 SRT it you can see we have a picture of the vehicle there this is where we can adjust the suspension between regular Sport and Sport Trac modes over here we have our timer’s button so you can see your current zero to sixty eighth mile quarter-mile braking distance etc see the last that you’ve done and you can see the best of all time so you can see the best in this particular vehicle over the past nearly seven thousand miles was a 4.6 according to the car according to our GPS our best time was 4.5 some of this varies of course based on the the tires that are on the vehicle and their profile etc over here we have our g-force counter so you can see your current g-force your peak g-force etc over here we have some specialty gauges we have oil temperature oil pressure battery voltage etc you can start the vehicle and you can see how these gauges change to go back to that SRT performance gauges screen you can see now we can see our oil pressure there and our battery voltage has gone up we go over here we have a second set of gauges this gives you even more detail so you can see your incoming air temperature coolant temperature oil pressure etc our exterior temperature right

now is 57 degrees and just because the car was recently started that’s why that’s so high go over here to engine this is kind of an interesting screen you can see how many horsepower and how many pound-feet of torque your engine is currently producing both in a little bar graph that goes across there as of course numbers over here as well it also tells you what gear you’re in and the speed that you’re going now we’re here on the handling screen that’s again another sort of a g-force gauged showing you what the car is doing and what the steering angle is in the car right now so you can see you can change the steering angle and those little wheel icons change over here on the option so you can change the color of your vehicle and of course you can change the background of the screen as well over here on nav this interface should look very familiar to you if you’ve ever used an aftermarket Garmin nav system because essentially Chrysler has integrated Garmin software directly into this you connect interface so all the buttons here are essentially the same that you’d find in that aftermarket garment system this is fully voiced commanda belen you connect 8.4 now all of the voice commands are slightly less logical than some of the competitions so in most vehicles you’d tell the nav system you’d press the low voice command button and you’d say navigation destination street address or navigation destination point of interest in this particular system you press that button and you read what you’re seeing here on the screen so you’d either say view map or where to that’s a little bit less intuitive than I would like but once you’re on that where to ops all these other sections are completely voice-command able you can enter met addresses manually you can enter addresses with that voice command system and it does respond very well once you’re actively navigating somewhere it’s fairly easy to come in here and stop navigation or enter a detour to things that are usually buried somewhat deeply in competitive systems before we take Chrysler’s firebreather out for a spin there are a few things we need to cover the first is weight this guy weighs about 4,400 pounds so it’s not exactly a lightweight but then again it’s not quite as heavy as other cars that are in the same performance

class either second thing are these tires back here because all Chrysler 300s RT eights come with two 45s all the way around these are two 45 45 are 20s on our particular model here now we have been told by other 300 owners that you can fit considerably wider tires into these wheel wells back here without causing too much of a drivability problem without also causing much of a rubbing problem or needing to have your fenders rolled or anything like that but those really do define the handling characteristics of the Chrysler 300 srt8 and the last thing is the weight balance because of course we have that enormous 6.4 liter engine up front it does affect the weight balance a little bit and the weight balance in our particular model here is 54% to the front and 46% to the rear because that 245 with rubber in the back it is kind of narrow when you consider the 470 pound-feet of torque to this engine is putting down our zero to 60 times varied between four point four six 260 and four point seven seconds to 16 it is somewhat of a decent variance but it does have an awful lot to do with the road surface how warm your tires are how good the nannies are at any particular moment in trying to quell that you know tire burning back there now our braking is very good in this vehicle thanks to those enormous Brembo brakes so once you do get up to speed you can’t stop fairly rapidly and again that has more to do with the front tire size and in vehicles like this 245 is upfront are not abnormally small but 245 s in the rear are a little bit narrow again you can change those out aftermarket and that’s definitely something that I would do some people dislike slightly front heavy rear wheel drive cars but 54% up front really isn’t bad for a vehicle that’s this powerful and this large and I think it makes the handling a bit more predictable in neutral situations so when you’re not power on you know does a little bit more front heavy so the Front’s going to tend to plow a little bit more and that’s a lot more predictable for the average driver so have no complaints there when you’re under power however that front heavy nature with those somewhat narrow tires in the rear do make the vehicle kind of lively but again I think I like that and so no complaints there either good performance braking and handling numbers don’t mean anything if the car doesn’t have a decent ride that’s because a lot of people are going to use a car like

the Chrysler 300 srt8 to commute to work in you know to go visit family members on weekends to go for that weekend trip to Napa something like that and in those situations it’s important that the car have a nice highway ride and have a ride that handles potholes speed bumps and other road irregularities like that with aplomb and that’s really an area where the srt8 excels that thanks to their access to the mercedes parts bin the rear suspension in this car is derived from the mercedes e-class suspension and the front suspensions derived from the mercedes s-class suspension the benefit to Chrysler of course is that those suspensions were undoubtedly very expensive to design and they didn’t have to spend quite as much money to design something that’s really great at handling a wide variety of road surfaces though in addition to having a classy suspension design Chrysler bundled it with an adaptive suspension that’s controlled via their you connect infotainment system here there are three different modes is regular there’s sport and there’s track sport and in addition to just firming up the suspension the system also has a predictive nature about it which allows the suspension to try and correct for body roll and tip and dive things like that the steering feel in the 300 srt8 is excellent and that’s because Chrysler has not replaced their hydraulic power steering in this car with an electric power steering unit which is what pretty much everybody else in the market is doing so although this steering unit isn’t the most responsive or most communicative that I’ve ever felt in today’s modern world it really shines the enormous power from that engine under the hood as well as this regular automatic that we have here in the center console and this three mode adaptive suspension really turned the 300 srt8 into sort of a dr. Jekyll and mr. Hyde kind of machine and that’s a really great thing in my book because you can stuff your mother-in-law in the back you can drive off to wherever and she’s not going to be offended by your sports car purchase but then when you find a great mountain road like this you can drop it in track sport mode and you can have more fun than you thought possible in a vehicle that’s this big I mean the power is just absolutely epic and seemingly unending us engine it is a truly fast vehicle and the acceleration is absolutely breathtaking some of our viewers of our Dodge Challenger review

took exception to us comparing the Challenger to a BMW 6-series but I think the comparison is equally valid here with the Chrysler 300 srt8 and in a good way for Chrysler part of that’s because of course that Chrysler was rating the parts bin this car is not that distantly related to the Mercedes e-class and so a comparison to the Mercedes e63 is definitely valid and in order our particular srt8 tests are here rang in at just under $60,000 which represents an incredible value when you compare it to the e63 and if I were to choose between the two of them I would take the Chrysler 300 it doesn’t have the the panache and the schnazzy brand you know that the e63 comes with but I think that the the 300 srt8 is just a bit more fun it’s it’s a bit rougher around the edges the engine is an awful lot more engaging than that twin turbo unit they have in the modern East 63 and you can’t beat the price this car is an absolute blast on your favorite winding Mountain Road and that’s thanks to a very well sorted system of electronic nannies that help keep your butt on the road and that’s very important when you have this much power in a vehicle like this there they’re not only

well sorted but they also allow you just that little bit of tail happiness to make you feel like you know what you’re doing out on the road now Chrysler also includes a complete array of safety systems they include pre collision warning and of course the 300 srt8 has scored very well in a wide variety of crash tests if you’re looking for something a bit more engaging out on the road then you might want to wait till the 2014 model year however because our rumor mill tells us that Chrysler is going to put their 8-speed transmission that they’re sourcing from ZF into that 2014 srt8 and ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is used in a wide variety of luxury and ultra luxury vehicles it’s an absolutely excellent transmission and the Chrysler version is no different in our Express experience with it in a number of different Chrysler vehicles for 2013 pricing on the Chrysler 300 srt8 ranges from just under $48,000 to just under $60,000 it’s a decent value for what you’re getting here 470 horsepower 470 pounds of torque and most importantly an incredibly well polished ride that’s the biggest thing about the Chrysler 300 is not the power not the size the vehicle and not necessarily the price it’s the level of refinement that you get in this vehicle for that price tag and we have that gorgeous leather dashboard in this vehicle we have an absolutely impeccable ride we have incredible power as well all for under $60,000 so if you take my advice you’re looking for something in that price range or even if you’re looking at something a bit more expensive you should definitely put the Chrysler 300 on your list

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *